Saturday, February 25, 2023
11:00 AM – 5:30 PM ET
11:00–11:05 AM ET
Welcome and introduction by Carl Pritzkat, president of BookLife.
Opening Author Keynote:
11:05–11:20 AM ET
Author Leslye Penelope kicks off our programming with a keynote address
that offers valuable insights on storytelling and indie publishing.
Leslye Penelope, who also writes as L. Penelope, is an award-winning author of fantasy and paranormal romance. Her debut novel Song of Blood & Stone was chosen as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time. The novel also won the inaugural award for Best Self-Published Fiction from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
She’s the author most recently of The Monsters We Defy and Savage City. She’s also an award-winning independent filmmaker and co-founder of a literary magazine. Leslye is an alumna of VONA/Voices and Hurston/Wright Writers Workshop. Her podcast, My Imaginary Friends, is a weekly journal of her publishing life, perfect for readers and writers alike.
Prior to her writing success, she studied film production and computer science at Howard University, which led to a master’s degree in multimedia and a career in website development.
The Business Savvy Author:
Mastering Marketing Strategies
to Find and Maintain Readers
11:20 AM–11:55 AM ET
Self-publishing authors need to be more than great writers: they need to be
entrepreneurs. Join us for a panel devoted to forging your path as an indie
author to find the readers who will love and value your work.
CEO, Wolfpack Publishing
CEO & Founding Publisher, Publish Your Gift®
Sassafras Lowrey is the author of eleven fiction and nonfiction books. Sassafras’ books have been honored by organizations ranging from the American Library Association, the Lambda Literary Foundation, and the Dog Writers Association of America. The film rights to Sassafras’ Lambda Literary Finalists novel, Lost Boi, were recently acquired.
Sassafras is a full-time freelance writer, and certified professional dog trainer whose work has appeared in leading publications including The New York Times, Catapult, WIRED, Publishers Weekly, The Rumpus, Apartment Therapy, and with The American Kennel Club. SassafrasLowrey.com
Reading Books by Their Covers:
Designers Share Their Tips
12:00–12:20 PM ET
During this prerecorded presentation, graphic designers share their tips
on how to make a book cover pop. The panelists will take a look at
covers submitted by attendees and provide their suggestions
for possible redesign options.
Once registered, attendees will be sent a form to
submit their covers should they choose to participate.
Author and Designer, Melissa Williams Design
Michelle Argyle has been designing for over 20 years and creates covers and other design materials, as well as typesetting and formatting. In 2010 she created Melissa Williams Design for a small publisher. Since then, she has taken on many other clients. She finds no greater joy than transforming someone’s idea into a piece of marketable art. She believes details are everything. Michelle also enjoys writing and has 10 publications to her name. MW Design is now owned by MDA Books, which is the name under which Michelle publishes her fiction. Michelle lives in the Rocky Mountains where she finds every excuse possible to go hiking and be outdoors.
Designer and Editor
Distribution Tool Kit:
Getting Your Books to Readers
12:25–12:50 PM ET
Authors, publishing professionals, and audiobook experts discuss
what you need to know about distributing your book, whether
it’s making it into brick-and-mortar stores and libraries,
ranking on Amazon, or selling on other online platforms.
Manager & Publishing Director, Aurora Publicity; Co-owner, LitRing
President, LMBPN Worldwide Publishing; CEO, HowToPublishBooks.com
Robin Cutler is the President of LMBPN Worldwide Publishing as well as the CEO of HowToPublishBooks.com, a consulting service for indie authors and publishers. Robin both created and led the development of IngramSpark, an international, award-winning self-publishing platform from 2013–2020. She has published over 1000 books as Assistant Director at USC Press, and CEO and founder of her trade imprint, Summerhouse Press. Robin also worked for Amazon for six years.
Robin served on the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) from 2014–2018. She speaks frequently at writing and publishing conferences worldwide including Book Expo America, Frankfurt Bookfair, London Bookfair, SFWC, and NINC to name a few. Robin has in-depth knowledge of indie, academic, and trade publishing and is an expert in content creation, distribution, on-demand models, and author strategies. She is currently hard at work developing a screenplay. Follow Robin on Twitter @rcutlerbookpub. or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
12:50–1:00 PM ET
1:00–1:30 PM ET
In this session choose between four panel discussions:
Copyright: What Indie Authors Need to Know, The Audiobook Option,
Uplifting Marginalized Voices: Writing Outside Your Own Experience,
and Reviews & Contests: What’s in It for You.
|Can you quote song lyrics in your book? What happens when your book cover is flagged on Amazon due to possible copyright infringement? Experts weigh in on fair use, copyright laws, and how to protect your work.|
CEO and Founding Publisher, Fruition Publishing Concierge Services®Alesha Brown is the Founder & CEO of Fruition Publishing Concierge Services®, a hybrid publisher devoted to helping authors find their voice, monetize their expertise, and create profitable author platforms. Alesha’s work led to her receiving the 2019 Inside Business’ Entrepreneurial Excellence award. Her expertise has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Authority Magazine, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and iHeartRadio, just to name a few. Alesha has served as a celebrity interviewer and managing editor for various podcasts and magazines before creating her own, Published! Magazine™, the premier magazine devoted to current and aspiring authors, book lovers, and the companies that promote them. A best-selling author, copywriter, and magazine editor-in-chief, Alesha currently serves on the DEI Committee and Board of Directors for the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), is an IBPA member roundtable facilitator, and has been a conference speaker for IBPA’s Publishing University Conference.
Lawyer Specializing in Copyright LawAfter years working in big law and as in-house counsel, Stacy Grossman founded her firm in 2014 to provide clients with clear, judicious, and business-minded legal advice. Today her firm represents clients of all sizes, across multiple industries, specializing in trademark, copyright, publishing, First Amendment, and related issues. Stacy is skilled at litigation avoidance, counseling clients about best practices, and negotiating the amicable resolution of disputes. She is recognized each year as a leading trademark lawyer by the World Trademark Review, is an editor of INTA’s The Trademark Reporter, and is a former board member of Women’s Media Group. Her firm is certified by WBENC as a woman-owned business.
Author; Board-Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition PractitionerJuliana Leamen is a Board Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, author, and podcaster. She is on a mission to provide a new model of care for weight loss in midlife–what she calls weight release–moving away from the ‘diet mindset’ and helping women find confidence from within. With over 11 years of experience, she is passionate about helping women over 40 make the shift towards weight release so they can balance their hormones naturally, release excess weight, and fall in love with their bodies again.
CEO, Izzard Ink PublishingTim McConnehey has developed Izzard Ink from a spark of an idea into one of the fastest growing media companies in the U.S., selling over one million books and developing tech solutions that are set to reshape the industry. Recognized as an international publishing expert, Tim has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch, Parade, Fox News Radio, Dow Jones, Medium, and other national and international publications. McConnehey draws on a deep background in business, including extensive experience in fintech, business management, and business development, as well as the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. Tim will graduate from Harvard Business School in April with a certificate in the 26-month Owners/President Management program.
1:30–2:00 PM ET
2:00–2:15 PM ET
Product Manager, Google Play Books
Ryan Dingler is a Product Manager at Google Play Books. He oversees all publisher products as well as select Play Books consumer experiences. Prior to working at Google, Ryan was a Product Manager at Visa. He is based in San Francisco.
How I Do It:
Noted Authors Share Secrets of Success
2:20–2:55 PM ET
With so many books being published each year, it can be overwhelming
for authors looking to find their niche. Accomplished authors and
publishing experts weigh in on how they’ve achieved their success.
Kim Catanzarite is the author of the award-winning Jovian Duology sci-fi thriller series. She is a freelance writer and editor for publishers and independent authors, and she teaches copyediting for Writer’s Digest University. Her Self-Publishing 101 blog discusses the ins and outs of indie life as well as all things writing craft. When she’s not writing or editing, Kim enjoys hiking, drawing, and talking to her cats. She lives on the east coast of the US with her husband and daughter. For more information, visit AuthorKimCatanzarite.com.
Paul Levine is the Amazon number one bestselling author of the “Jake Lassiter and Solomon vs. Lord” series. Levine won the John D. MacDonald Fiction Award and has been nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, International Thriller, Shamus, and James Thurber prizes. A former trial lawyer, he also wrote twenty episodes of the CBS military drama JAG and co-created the Supreme Court drama First Monday starring James Garner and Joe Mantegna. The international bestseller To Speak for the Dead was his first novel and introduced linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter. Bum Rap, which brought Lassiter together with Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord, was an Amazon #1 bestseller. His latest book is Early Grave in which an ailing Lassiter sues to establish high school football as so inherently dangerous as to constitute a “public nuisance” that should be abolished. Visit the author’s website at paul-levine.com or his Amazon Author Page and follow him on Twitter.
Kyoko M. is a USA Today bestselling author and a fangirl. She is the author of The Black Parade urban fantasy series and the Of Cinder and Bone science-fiction series. The Black Parade has been reviewed by Publishers Weekly and New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews. Of Cinder and Bone placed in the Top 30 Books in Hugh Howey’s 2021 Self Published Science Fiction Contest. Kyoko M. has appeared as a guest and panelist at such conventions as Geek Girl Con, DragonCon, Blacktasticon, Momocon, JordanCon, ConCarolinas, and MultiverseCon. She is also a contributor to Marvel Comics’ Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda (2021) anthology. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit degree from the University of Georgia.
Natalie Wright is the author of seven novels, including the award-winning YA sci-fi series H.A.L.F. Her debut YA novel, Emily’s House, has over 2.1 million reads on Wattpad. Season of the Dragon (Menaris Books, March 2023) is her first adult fantasy novel. Natalie also co-hosts the popular SFF podcast, Tipsy Nerds Book Club, with author guests such as Hugh Howey and Darynda Jones. She’s also a judge in the international short story writing competition, NYC Midnight. Natalie appears frequently as a guest and panelist at book festivals and conventions, including the Nebula convention. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two ornery cats and frequently visits her college-age son in New York City.
Michael Anderle began writing full time at the age of 45, and since then he has sold over 4 million books worldwide either under his name alone or as a collaborator with other well-known authors. He is a Dragon Award finalist as co-author with Craig Martelle for the Best Military Science Fiction novel of the year for 2018. Anderle has also established a publishing company called LMBPN® (for London, Milan, Barcelona, Paris, New York) which has authors from the USA, Australia, England, Canada, and various other countries around the world. Currently, Anderle resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Get Expert Insight on Real Pitches
Submitted by Attendees
3:00–3:20 PM ET
During this prerecorded presentation, you’ll learn all about book pitches,
why they matter, and how to create a winning pitch for your next project.
Pitches by attendees will be presented during this session.
Submit your pitch for a chance to have it critiqued!
Once registered, attendees will be sent a form to submit
their pitches should they choose to participate.
Editor, The Hot Sheet
Jane Friedman has spent nearly 25 years working in the book publishing industry, with a focus on author education and trend reporting. She is the editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, which was named 2020 Media Outlet of the Year by Digital Book World. Learn more at JaneFriedman.com.
3:25–4:05 PM ET
Six break-out sessions offer a deeper discussion on writing and publishing
within a specific genre or category. Choose from the following sessions:
Author, Detective Emilia Cruz SeriesCarmen Amato turns lessons from a 30-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency into fiction loaded with drama and deception. Beginning with Cliff Diver, the Detective Emilia Cruz series pits the first female police detective in Acapulco against Mexico’s cartels, corruption, and social inequality. Optioned for television, it’s a two-time winner of the Outstanding Series award from CrimeMasters of America. Her vibrant Galliano Club historical series was inspired by her grandfather, a deputy sheriff during Prohibition. From upstate New York, Carmen holds degrees from Le Moyne College and the University of Virginia, plus certificates from Institut Catholique, Paris, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She is a recipient of both the National Intelligence Award and the Career Intelligence Medal. Carmen’s popular Mystery Ahead newsletter unlocks her top secrets with exclusive content and reviews. See more at carmenamato.net.
AuthorGary McAvoy is author of many books including his bestselling thriller novel series, The Magdalene Chronicles, and his newest series, Vatican Secret Archive Thrillers. His nonfiction work, And Every Word Is True, has been hailed as a sequel to Truman Capote’s landmark book In Cold Blood. Gary is also a professional collector of ancient manuscripts and historical documents, much of which informs his writing projects. From 1999 to 2005, Gary worked closely with primatologist and animal ethicist Dr. Jane Goodall, serving as Seattle Base Camp Chair for the Jane Goodall Institute, managing Northwest fundraising efforts in support of the Institute’s global initiatives. In 2003 Gary convinced Jane she should speak to global food issues, and in 2005 they co-authored Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating (Warner Books).
AuthorDan Padavona is the author of the Amazon top-selling Wolf Lake and Darkwater Cove thriller series. He has published 26 dark crime and psychological thrillers. Between July 2021 and July 2022, he amassed $500,000 in Amazon sales. Besides writing, Dan teaches authors how to market their books through his courses and articles at: danpadavona.com/category/advice-for-writers/
Midwest Correspondent, Publishers WeeklyClaire Kirch is celebrating her 20th anniversary as Publishers Weekly‘s Midwest correspondent, shining a spotlight on the doings of the amazing publishers, booksellers, authors, and other industry folk who live and work in the Heartland. Besides regional reporting, Claire has written on a variety of topics for PW, including a feature on how people with disabilities navigate industry events and another on Indigenous bookstores. Most recently, she edited PW‘s Winter Institute 2023 Preview supplement. Before working for PW, Claire spent five years working as marketing/publicity manager for Spinsters Ink, whose publisher at the time, Joan Drury, was also the author of award-winning feminist mysteries–which Claire promoted with great zeal. A native of California, Claire lives in a 112-year-old house filled with books (many of them mysteries and thrillers) in Duluth, Minn. with her husband, a history professor, and their two tuxedo cats.
Jon Cohn is a horror novelist and professional board game designer based out of San Diego. He frequently tries to find ways to blend his two passions by creating narrative-focused horror games like The Grind House, and Ghostbusters: Blackout. While The Island Mother is his debut novel, he has a number of short stories published as well. The Three Currencies of Doctor Kulick was published in Bellevue Literary Review as a finalist in their 2022 Short Fiction competition. His upcoming novel Slashtag is a horror-satire that will be released Spring 2023. You can stay caught up with upcoming releases by following @joncohnauthor on Instagram and Twitter. If you would like to find content from Jon that does not feature his dogs Gizmo and Luna, you can sign up for the newsletter at joncohnauthor.com.
Lydia M. Hawke
Lydia M. Hawke is a Canadian author of supernatural thrillers and paranormal women’s fiction (urban fantasy). She also writes romances under the name Linda Poitevin. To date, she has published a total of ten novels and three novellas. Her books have twice placed in the Publishers Weekly Booklife Prize quarterfinals and once in the semifinals. She has also twice received honorable mention in the Reader’s Favorite Awards. Lydia lives near Ottawa, Canada’s capital, and is a proud crone, wife, mom, grandma, friend, and lifelong learner. In her other-than-writing-life, she is also an avid gardener, walker, keeper of many pets, and is forever starting new projects…some of which she even finishes.
Sci-fi/Fantasy Editor; Ghostwriter
With over a decade of editing experience, Katrina Schroeder is a highly qualified book coach, editor, and ghostwriter. She specializes in speculative fiction but also works with any genre of fiction and nonfiction. Katrina is a member of both ACES and EFA, holds a Certificate in Editing from ACES/Poynter, and has taken the Developmental Editing for Fiction course through the Editorial Arts Academy. She’s currently finishing her Book Coach Certification through Author Accelerator, although she’s been coaching with a publisher for over a year.
Katrina is an editor with Luna Station Quarterly, a print and digital speculative fiction magazine that publishes short fiction written by women-identified writers. She’s also a writer for FoxFireFiction, a tabletop RPG, and has ghostwritten several fantasy novels.
Reviews Editor, BookLife
Phoebe Cramer is a reviews editor at Publishers Weekly, where she handles coverage of sci-fi, fantasy, horror and romance titles. She can be found on Twitter @PhoebeLCramer.
Kay Cove writes contemporary romance novels that are sweet and steamy. She loves strong and witty heroines that aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with an alpha hero. Her favorite writing weapon of choice? Banter. Born in Colorado Springs, Kay graduated with a degree in human resource management and spent a few years as an HR professional. Nowadays, she spends her time at home with her two young sons and husband, traveling wherever the military takes them. When she’s not binge-watching The Big Bang Theory or true crime documentaries, she likes to get lost in writing, building, and testing relationships of all types–romantic, friendship, and family.
An award-winning adventure romance author, Stacy Gold would rather be in the middle of nowhere than almost anywhere else. She’s run more than 50 rivers in three countries, been heli-dropped into remote ski huts, worked as a ranger for the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, and spent years as a commercial river guide and whitewater kayak instructor. Her last “real job” was Communications Director for a state-wide mountain biking non-profit. When she’s not busy kayaking, skiing, biking, or hiking with her husband and happy dogs, she writes about independent, badass women finding love and adventure in the great outdoors. Her latest release, Wild at Heart, was a 2022 BookLife Prize finalist. To see more visit stacygold.com
Norian Love is a best-selling author, screen-writer, songwriter, and poet, whose character-rich storytelling and creative world building is swiftly setting him apart as one of the top writers in the black romance genre. His latest release, Autumn: A Love Story, was the recipient of the Association of Black Romance Writers 2021 Book of the Year Award. Autumn’s complementary poetic journal, Blue: Love Letters to Fatima, also became a number one best-seller, giving him the distinction of having number one releases across multiple genres. He was a finalist for the 2021 Black Authors Rock, Author of the Year Award, as well as a finalist for the 2022 Romance Slam Jam Best Erotic Romance EMMA Award. He is completing the highly-anticipated Money, Power, & Sex series and serves as head screenwriter for the University of Houston HIV Awareness campaign.
Kilby Blades is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her debut novel, Snapdragon, was a HOLT Medallion finalist, a Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize semi-finalist, and an IPPY Award medalist. She’s been lauded by critics for “easing feminism and equality into her novels” (IndieReader) and “writing characters who complement each other like a fine wine does a good meal” (Publishers Weekly). When she’s not writing her own novels, she teaches craft and the business of writing at the Berkeley Writing Salon. Kilby is an oenophile, a cinephile and, most of all, a glutton for a good story.
W. B. Garvey
AuthorW. B. Garvey is a relative of the famous pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey. Born in Los Angeles to Jamaican immigrants, Garvey attended high school in Kingston where he continued his childhood career as a concert pianist and violinist, performing live and on television. After graduating from the University of Southern California, Garvey moved to New York City where, in addition to his work as a recording musician, he appeared as violin soloist with renowned symphony orchestras and as recitalist in major U.S. concert halls. Learning of the heroic yet unheralded contribution of black West Indians to the building of the Panama Canal, Garvey was inspired to write his first historical novel, Panama Fever: Digging Down Gold Mountain, followed by the award-winning White Gold. Garvey’s most recent work, the fictionalized memoir Independence Blues earned wide acclaim.
AuthorLilianne Milgrom is a Paris-born, internationally acclaimed artist and author residing in the US. She holds two degrees from Melbourne University, Melbourne, Australia. Her debut historical fiction L’Origine: The Secret Life of the World’s Most Erotic Masterpiece is the recipient of six literary awards. Aside from her blog, Lilianne’s articles have appeared in publications such as HuffPost, Ceramics Art and Perception, Funds for Writers, Daily Art Magazine and France Magazine. Her essays have been included in two anthologies. She is currently working on her second novel. She was recently selected as a semifinalist to appear on the TV pilot of America’s Next Great Author. Visit liliannemilgromauthor.com or email her at email@example.com
AuthorMichelle Rene is a creative advocate and multiple award-winning author of historical and speculative fiction. She’s been writing for over 17 years and navigating the treacherous waters of publishing for the last ten. Michelle would like to say she’s seen it all, but that would be tempting fate. Maud’s Circus, Tattoo, and Hour Glass are just a few of her award-winning indie titles. All three have had the honor of gracing Publisher Weekly‘s review spotlight. Her middle grade debut, Brick Dust and Bones, is set to release in July 2023 with Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan Kids) under the pseudonym, M.R. Fournet. When not writing, she is a professional artist, belly dancer, and autism mom. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her son, husband, and two ungrateful cats.
AuthorMorgan Vega is the author of Sleeping Around. She earned her BA in English from Bridgewater College and MA in Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communication from James Madison University. She worked in higher education for seven years before transitioning into the publishing industry. Morgan interned at Kore Press, worked as an editor at Scarsdale Publishing, and now is the Marketing and Sales Associate at No Starch Press. Morgan grew up and lives in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and when she’s not writing, she does freelance editing and talks about books on social media. Visit her website morganvega.com and follow her on social media @MorganVegaWrite.
Freelance Writer; EditorKaren Clark is a freelance writer, Publishers Weekly contributor, and editor who received her MFA from the City College of New York after owning an antiquarian bookshop on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for over a decade.
AuthorLaura Davis is the author of The Burning Light of Two Stars, The Courage to Heal, and five other groundbreaking books. In addition to writing books that inspire, the work of Laura’s heart is to teach. For more than twenty years, she’s helped people find their voices, tell their stories, and hone their craft. Laura has been published in Publishers Weekly, Writer’s Digest, CrimeReads, Brevity, and The New York Times, featured in the Los Angeles Review of Books, and on QWERTY, Write-Minded, The Only One in the Room, and dozens of other podcasts. She’s a featured speaker for The National Association of Memoir Writers and a popular craft teacher at The San Miguel Writer’s Conference. She’ll be taking a lucky group of writers to Tuscany this spring and you can join her. Learn about her online classes and workshops and read the first five chapters of her memoir at lauradavis.net.
AuthorNadia Davis is the mother of three sons, a writer, attorney, kundalini yoga teacher and former executive director and elected official. She graduated from U.C.L.A. with a degree in Sociology and Specialization in Juvenile Justice and Loyola Law School with a Doctorate. She has received numerous state and national awards for her work improving the lives of others, including the John F. Kennedy Jr. Public Service Award, National Womens’ Political Caucus Woman of the Year, and Hispanic Woman of the Year L.U.L.A.C. Her journey of recovery from childhood and adult trauma, a near death car accident, chronic pain, public shaming, addiction and mental health is an inspiration to many and anyone seeking a way out of darkness into connection with their infinite true selves and our home within. Nadia lives in Southern California happily co-parenting her three sons.
Oanh Ngo Usadi
AuthorOanh Ngo Usadi is the author of the memoir Of Monkey Bridges and Bánh Mì Sandwiches: from Sài Gòn to Texas, a BookLife Prize memoir finalist in 2018 and a Wall Street Journal bestseller in 2020. Born in Saigon, Oanh grew up in the countryside where her family was exiled after the war. In the mid-1980s, her family escaped Vietnam as boat refugees and settled in a small Texas town. After working in consulting and having her own personal chef business, Oanh turned to writing. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, and elsewhere. She has been featured in several podcasts including The Moth Mainstage, Voice of America, Bayoulands Talks, and the Bookmonger. Oanh’s latest book about her life as an American expat in Singapore will come out in 2023. You can follow Oanh on Facebook, Twitter and OandOPress.com.
Publisher, She Writes Press and SparkPressBrooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Write On, Sisters!, Green-light Your Book, What’s Your Book?, and three books on memoir. Brooke is a TEDx speaker, weekly podcaster (of Write-minded with co-host Grant Faulkner of NaNoWriMo), and the former Executive Editor of Seal Press.
Aubre Andrus is the award-winning children’s book author of ‘The Look Up’ series, an award-winning biography series featuring real women in S.T.E.A.M. careers. She also has written dozens of books for National Geographic, Lonely Planet, American Girl, Disney, Scholastic, and young YouTube stars. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughters. Head to aubreandrus.com to learn more about virtual school visits or find her on social media @aubreandrus.
Rosston Meyer is a designer, paper engineer, and publisher of art pop-up books, cards, and prints through his company, Poposition Press. He is one of just a handful people in the world self-publishing pop-up books and one of the only publishers focusing on pop-ups for adults. Every project that Rosston works on is a collaboration with artists, engineers, and other creatives. Since 2013, Rosston has worked with a wide range of artists from street and comic artists like Junko Mizuno and Mike Giant to household names like Andy Warhol. Rosston is on the board of The Movable Book Society, an organization that provides a forum for collectors and makers of pop-up and movable books. He lives in Colorado with his wife, two boys, and their cat, Clawdia.
Publisher, Believe in Wonder Publishing
Brian and Josie Parker live in Beaverton, Oregon and are the owners of Believe In Wonder Publishing. Brian’s life and work is devoted to sharing imagination and creativity with young minds and inspiring a new generation of dreamers. Brian grew up in Alaska, then Mississippi, and has always been in love with storytelling in every medium. He earned a BFA in graphic design & illustration and an MA in writing & publishing. He spends his days working with the family creating new and amazing stories.
Founder, Hey Carter! Books
Thomishia Booker launched Hey Carter! Books after being disappointed in the lack of representation of Black boys in children’s books. Her brand and books are inspired by her son, Carter, and focused on building self-identity in young Black boys. Her vision is to curate a series filled with “happy Black children loving their happy Black Lives!” Recently, Thomishia’s book, Brown Boy Joy, was featured in the Netflix original series, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices. She was the only indie author among the cast of celebrities and New York Times bestselling authors, Jacqueline Woodson and Derrick Barnes. Her book, chosen for Bookmarks using a social justice education framework, has received the endorsement of the Black Caucus American Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children. Thomishia is a member of Building Leaders and Activists with Collective Knowledge, a group of Black authors in the Bay Area working to decolonize educational spaces. She tells stories of difficult lessons learned, self-doubt, and connecting with her community.
Apart from her literary life, Thomishia is a licensed therapist and works full time as a healthcare administrator.
All Writing is Rewriting:
You’ve Got a Great Draft. Now What?
4:05–4:35 PM ET
Writing a great book is just the beginning. Editors, writers, and publishing
professionals offer advice to debut writers who are sprucing up their
manuscripts and just embarking on their publishing journeys.
Editor; Author Platform Coach
Ask the Experts Anything
4:40–5:30 PM ET
Our final session of the day is your chance to get those burning
questions answered. Come prepared to ask our panel of industry
veterans any lingering questions you might have about writing,
marketing, distribution, social media, and more.
Matia Query is a freelance writer and the editor of BookLife, the indie author wing of Publishers Weekly. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.